What’s it all for?

I’ve been thinking about the blog a lot lately — which may surprise you since I’ve been sort of MIA. It’s hard with a new little baby (she’s great, by the way) to find time to rant about the government, corporate greed, misogyny, the election and so on. What’s bothering me is that all that stuff isn’t bothering me, quite so much anyway. I can’t seem to care about the Reid/Angle struggle. I can’t seem to care about whether or not Rory Reid is going to overcome his father’s name recognition to beat out Gibbons, Jr., I mean Brian Sandoval. And the things that do make me mad — the oil spilling into the gulf, for instance — just make me feel small and impotent.

Maybe caring isn’t the right word for it. Because I do care. In some ways, I care more than ever because I want my daughter to have the best life possible. I care that it feels like Nevada is sinking into a cesspool of failure (could we be doing any worse?). I care that there are idiots running for office. I care about our schools and the unemployment rate and the foreclosure tailspin. I do care. But I just don’t feel like there is anything I can do about it. I feel like all this ranting and blogging and signing petitions is all just … inconsequential. The election will come and go. It will most likely have a ridiculously low turn-out. Some incompetent morons will be elected (and hopefully some good folks, too). But will anything change? And will all our angst-ridden, righteous indignation mean anything?

Sometimes all this feels like we’re just factioning off and then talking to our own people, those that are already with us. And then shouting at “the other side.” For what? Does it really change anything? What is it all for?

It’s hard to ask these questions. I want to feel like all my past activism, volunteering, petition-signing, picketing, boycotting, journalism, blogging and political allegiances mean something. I like writing. Hell, I can even admit that I like that other people like my writing and read it and talk about it. I like to think I make a difference. And maybe I do, or did. But you’re talking about moving the dial one hash-mark and the dial has … oh, a million hash-marks. So was all that sweat, work, shouting and gnashing of teeth really worth it? I don’t know.

What I do know is that my time is very precious these days. If I get a whole hour to myself in a day (not counting sleep), it’s a brilliant day! The work of parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever had and it’s a little hard on my ego to admit that. I spent 15 years as a full-time, working-in-the-trenches gal. The worst of it is that people think you’re opting out and taking it easy at home when you’re actually working your ass off — physically, mentally, emotionally. (I’m ashamed to say, I used to be one of those people.) And when you’re working that hard and at all hours of the day and night, suddenly you feel very protective of any little bit of day you can carve out for yourself. When you have to choose between another half-hour of sleep or getting a shower — and it’s a hard choice — then anything else you might do with your time is seriously analyzed. Is it worth it?

I don’t know the answer, but I do hear my baby waking up from her nap.

One thought on “What’s it all for?

  1. Dear Siren:

    Of course, it has all been worth it … your work helps motivate others to also write, call, vote and stand up. And now, you’re doing another important job … being a mom. At first, it’s all consuming, this mom / parenting gig. But as the years speed by, and they do zip by, you’ll have more time for you again. All about balancing, blending, letting go for a while, picking up other bits later.

    The unexamined life is not worth living, as Plato noted. Good to re-evaluate, truly. And as my friends and I have concluded … you can have it all, just not all at once, and we don’t all do it in the same order. Enjoy!

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